Golf Courses and Driving Ranges
Playing 18 holes of golf is a time committment, and often reserved only for a weekend, vacation or a “sick day”. The course consists of a teeing ground, rough, fairway, and obstacles such as bunkers, water hazards and dense vegetation. A driving range usually has practice greens, bunkers, and driving areas and is used specifically to practice one's technique without the distraction of winning and losing a game, a time crunch, or bad weather. Golf courses can be built on sandy areas along the coast, an abandoned farm, deserts, forests, and even strip mines and quarries. Golf course architects are building bigger and broader courses now because of the advancement in modern equipment that allows golfers to hit the ball much farther than in the past. Driving ranges don't require nearly as much land and can actually be in the midst of an urban environment. Distances are usually marked by target greens at regular distances. Golfers usually rent a bucket of balls (30-200 balls) and can play at their leisure.
Your First Day on the Golf Course
Golf demands a challenging combination of strength, flexibility and finesse. Strength can be developed on and off of the course, as can flexibility; finesse takes time to develop and master. Technique is very important when playing golf. You'll need to start with a set of clubs that is appropriate to your height. Next, study your grip. According to golf coach Jeff O'Brien, “The left hand should come in contact with the grip of the club in such a manner that the grip cuts a diagonal across the palm of the left hand from the crook in the index finger down and across to the bottom right pad of the left hand....As you address your ball and look down, you should only see two knuckles of your left hand.” For more of Jeff's tips, visit www.golf-ology.com
Golf Course Ettiquette
Golf is one of the most civilized sports around. Hence all the many rules of etiquette that govern how the game is played and even watched. There are rules from the clothes you wear to when you speak. It may seem daunting on your first golf round to remember all those rules. If you stick to the basic rules and follow the lead of the more experienced golfers around you, you should be able to avoid any faux pas.
While on the green always be aware of where any balls are located. You never want to walk in front of or on the putting line of another golfer. If driving a cart, remember to: not make sharp turns, stay out of bunkers, keep away from tee decks, and never drive with more than 2 players on the cart. Also never take more than 5 minutes to search for a lost ball. All players should agree to this rule beforehand to ensure the game moves along and that no one wastes time.
While on the tee, golfers need to be quiet and still. Golfers should always be aware of where their shadow falls and whether they are behind the target line. Throughout the round, the player who has the best score at the most recent hole gets to play first. Start with these basic rules and you should make it through your first day of golf.
Stretching For Golfers
Golfers may not lift their legs high or do crazy moves like a martial artist, but they need flexibility in their back muscles, shoulders, triceps, biceps and neck. Yoga will push you through an organized stretching session that also builds strength and balance simultaneously. But if you want to do some stretches on your own, you'll need to remember a few simple things. Do a gentle warm up like walking or riding a stationary bike, then focus on sprial stretches for your spine like laying on your back and dropping your knees to each side. Laying on your stomach and pressing your shoulders off the ground is a good stretch for the core, as is laying prone on the floor and twisting your head to the left and the right to stretch your neck. Stand while stretching your shoulders, triceps and biceps, and make sure you hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds without bouncing into the stretch. Reach your arms overhead to stretch your triceps, pull them across your body to stretch your rear shoulders and upper back, and hold onto a pole or wall and twist away from that arm to stretch your bicep.